Daze of My Life: Too Close for Comfort

Daze of My Life
Too Close for Comfort

Boy, am I glad I woke up this morning, for obvious reasons. For less than obvious reasons, I'm happy I woke up this morning because the dreams I was having (or shall I say, the dreams I am remembering) were just that, dreams and not real. The content of the three I remember were 1) my accountant and I were speaking on the phone (always scary). He was giving me dire medical news (not his specialty), advising that the continuing lack of a "mature" diet, on my part, combined with a non-fitness regimen had finally come home to roost. He didn't call me a chicken for not having wised up sooner and changed my eating habits, he simply said something - that I don't remember - which was eye-opening, almost literally.
The second dream I remember was almost worse, but not exactly. It had to do with work, Connection Newspaper work. Not a specific task or deadline, or anything to do with commuting to and from, rather it just had to do with being at work, Monday through Friday. It was when I woke up and realized that I didn't have to actually go to work BECAUSE IT WAS SUNDAY that I knew I had dreamt a nightmare instead.
The third piece of a dream that I recall had to do with my nearly 14-year old, golden retriever Bailey. In my dream/dream state, I heard a dog barking somewhere in the distance, as if he was lost, wailing a forlorn-type howl as if he knew he would never be found (at least that's what it felt like in my dream). In reality, Bailey had requested (and I use that term loosely) that he be let out earlier than usual, 5:22am instead of 6:30am, approximately; early enough that after letting him out (unattended as usual; he has the run of the neighborhood so he doesn't require supervision), I went back upstairs to bed rather than sit and wait (sometimes up to an hour) for his random return. A return/routine he has followed without fail for his entire life so it was nothing I was worried about and absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I figured that when he was good and ready to come back in the house, he would bark his intentions, as he has done hundreds of times before.
And so he did. That lost dog barking in my dream/nightmare was actually Bailey barking at the front door wanting to be let back in. So when I woke up thinking that it was a work day and a work day that began with some sobering medical news, along with the feeling that my dog (my son, if you will) was lost and barking his farewell (sort of) turned out instead to be something completely different and much less serious. It was not a work day, my accountant was not calling me (with or without medical news) and Bailey was not lost; he was simply standing outside the front door, snow-covered (under cover though on our porch) barking his normal sounds asking to be let back in.
Certainly I felt relief when I woke up and realized that all I was "nightmaring" was merely a dream and not real at all. Still, it felt real so much so that I thought a column commenting on it was appropriate and possibly even therapeutic.

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.